A federal appeals court has refused to block a Biden administration rule that allows Title X family planning funds to go to entities that promote or provide abortions.
A panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit rejected an injunction request by a group of states suing the Biden administration over the new rule.
The circuit panel concluded that the states suing the federal government “have not demonstrated that they will be irreparably harmed without the injunction."
Last October, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued a final rule allowing federal funding to go to family planning clinics that referred their patients to abortion counseling.
The new rule reversed an earlier measure by the Trump administration, labeled by critics as a “gag rule,” which prevented Title X funds from going to any entity that performs or promotes abortion as a means of family planning.
In March of last year, months before the Biden administration’s reversal of the 2019 Trump-era rule, 19 states sued the federal government to prevent the scrapping of the “gag rule.”
“To be sure, some States provide such funding. And many advocates would like to see more public funding. But the broader national consensus against funding elective abortion remains,” stated the joint motion.
“Title X reflects this consensus. Since its 1970 enactment, the law has funded non-abortion family planning. All the while, it has banned the use of Title X funds ‘in programs where abortion is a method of family planning.’”
Led by Ohio, the motion also included the states of Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas and West Virginia.
For his part, President Joe Biden said in a memo released soon after taking office that he believed the Trump-era rule puts "undue restrictions" on the use of federal funds and puts "women’s health at risk by making it harder for women to receive complete medical information."
The same memo revoked the "Mexico City Policy," a measure that barred federal funds from going to overseas nonprofits that promote or perform abortions.
“These excessive conditions on foreign and development assistance undermine the United States’ efforts to advance gender equality globally by restricting our ability to support women’s health and programs that prevent and respond to gender-based violence,” claimed the Biden memo.